Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Now It Feels Like Red Sox Baseball

Amazingly, it took 25 games and almost a month for it to really feel like the Red Sox season has begun. Yup, 29 days since opening day and yesterday was the true start of the '06 season. Don't misunderstand, I'm not dismissing the teams we've faced so far. I'm not naive enough to believe that they don't matter. Even Tampa matters because they can be a troublesome lot from time to time. But, when it all comes down to it, what are we as Sox fans obsessed with? The Yankees. I've never been at a concert or a Patriots or Bruins game and heard a "Blue Jays suck" chant break out. Yes, everywhere there are more than 10 Red Sox Fans, and most likely some alcohol you run the risk of hearing that nonsense. I've even heard reports of it on Crescent St. in Montreal at closing time. I may have actually been there to witness it but hey, It's Montreal at closing time. I run the risk of not remembering a lot of things up there at closing time.

Everything the Sox do is compared to the Yankees and how it affects each team. Constant analysis takes place as to how a person will handle the rivalry, how they'll perform against the other. We all know it goes both ways too. Brian Cashman proved it with the following statement regarding the reacquisition of Doug Mirabelli; "I wanted it to hurt, I monitor everything, and knew it was an obvious fit. I wanted to make sure their reacquisition was going to hurt as much as possible. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't a one-horse race."

The funny part of all this, since the start of the 2003 season the Sox are 29-28 during the regular season and 36-35 including the playoffs. Over all that time, the match-up between these 2 teams is simply a coin toss

Last night everything started just where it left off. Some columnists were worried that we've become a kinder gentler Nation, worried that we would be too soft on Johnny gone lately. Others thought we wouldn't give him the respect he deserves for being a hard nosed, impact player that gave his all for 4 seasons. Both happened.

And drama? No shortage. A barage of boos and a hitless night for Damon, Doug Mirabelli jumping out of his police escort from the airport just before the start of the game ready to go like a scene right out of a movie, and a late inning 3 run final nail in the coffin from David Ortiz against Myers, the former Sox lefty specialist that the Yankees signed to try to solve their woes against Papi. All this started off by the classy move of Damon showing his respect by tipping his cap to the fans while getting booed more than he was cheered. Going into last night (had I actually been there), I would not have clapped for the man. After that gesture, It would have been hard not to.


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